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Among all the stress of this decision, should I keep my ovaries? Among all the stress of this decision, should I keep my ovaries?

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Unread 04-05-2002, 10:24 AM
Among all the stress of this decision, should I keep my ovaries?

I am 40. My questions are endless. This site has been so helpful, THANK YOU.
Should I keep my ovaries or not? Have you obsessed about the surgery this much? I am planning all details, already wrote my obit just in case. My mom is adamant about being here and she only adds to my stress level...should I allow her to come to help "relieve" my husband? I have 1 daughter 7 yrs old and hubby is taking a week off work to help me. My surgery has not been scheduled due to some other problems I am having with my blood. I believe I am driving my husband crazy (me too) because all I can think about is the hospital and dreading being manipulated and handled (especially while drugged) by Dr.s and nurses. I'm having a hard time maintaining focus on anything but surgery. Per my Dr., I will have TAH. Past experience has been cervical cancer, now polyps and fibroids.
Thank you so much for any info.
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Unread 04-05-2002, 10:37 AM
Hi TXladybug

Obsessing about the surgery and all of the aspects of surgery and recovery are very normal. You are not alone. This is your body afterall and these decisions will effect you for the rest of your long life. Just my humble opinion, but I don't think you'll be using that obit. Save it for your great-grandchildren.
You are young and it is a good thing to keep healthy ovaries. They can provide you with many years of hormone production. HRT should be one less thing to deal with for a long time. Have you asked your doctor about keeping them? Make sure you discuss this in advance.
Perhaps Mom can come week 2 when DH goes back to work. I think you will be glad to have some extra help with DD if Mom doesn't stress you too bad.
Keep us posted okay.
Unread 04-05-2002, 10:54 AM

Hi, TXLadybug! Welcome to HysterSisters--a most wonderful site. Glad you have found some support and comfort here. I agree with Shelley about not needing the obit! There are rarely serious complications with a hyst, and I'm sure your dr will take very good care of you! But it is normal to constantly think and plan for the surgery and recovery. It is a major, emotional surgery after all. If your ovaries are healthy and you are not at risk for ovarian cancer, it would be best to keep them. You can have your dr examine them during surgery to see for sure if they are healthy. I had wanted to keep at least one ovary, but mine were both atrophic, with cysts, and barely functioning, so mine were removed. I also was at borderline risk for ovarian cancer, so I am relieved that I don't have to worry about that now. The risk factors for ovarian cancer are: family history of ovarian or breast cancer, age younger than 12 when menstruation began, age older than 30 for 1st baby (or no children), and infertility problems. You should discuss with your dr any risks for cancer that you have, and make a decision you are comfortable with. Some women have much difficulty finding just the right type and dose of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) to make them feel good. I'm lucky in that I feel great on Estrace.
I agree with Shelley, too, about maybe having your mom come when your dh has to go back to work, and when you'll be feeling just a little bit better--better able to cope with her! I'm sure she wants to help, but some people can cause more stress for you.
s and best wishes to you!
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Unread 04-05-2002, 11:52 AM
Among all the stress of this decision, should I keep my ovaries?

I'm 44 and was already showing signs of menopause (hot flashes, irregular periods), and only one of my ovaries HAD to come out. But I chose to remove them both. My rationale was the risk in my family (mom died of breast cancer, maternal grandmother died of uterine or ovarian cancer), the fact that I was probably going to go through menopause soon anyway and why leave in something that doesn't function, just so it can get cancer, and I didn't want to have to have this surgery ever again! HRT options are better than they ever have been these days including many natural options. I take low dose HRT and feel great....EVERY day.
Unread 04-05-2002, 04:42 PM

New research indicates that even old ovaries may have beneficial effects--like continuing to release small amounts of estrogen. One of my Mom's friends went through natural menopause years ago and experienced nary a hot flash. But after her ovaries were removed last year (due to a benign tumor) she's been suffering terribly from flashes ever since.

Science has also disproved the old belief that menopause happens because the ovaries run out of eggs. Autopsies of menopausal women prove they still have many.

As one who was happy with my mental state pre-hyst., I worried about becoming morose or menopausal if I lost my ovaries-- especially since I can't take HRT due to a past adventure with cancer. I was thrilled to be able to keep a good ovary (and glad to lose a bad one). So far, so good.

Answering, "To keep, or not to keep," is a different equation for each Sister depending on the specific circumstances & problems unique to each individual. Feelings weigh in very heavily here too. Some women & doctors feel that ovaries are ticking cancer timebombs. Other women & doctors would rather not remove healthy organs that might be contributing to one's overall wellbeing.

Good luck with your decision--and everything else!

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